10 Uses for Cornstarch

Cornstarch was a staple in our mother’s and grandmother’s kitchens. Used for keeping ironed clothes stiff, babies dry and sauces thick, the powdery product was not a one-trick pony. But even our foremothers had a limited view of what the product could actually do. Stock up on some inexpensive boxes of the kitchen staple and try these 10 uses for cornstarch.

Powdered Sugar

Need to top off a dessert or French toast with a sprinkle of confectioners sugar but you’re out of the powdery sugar? Make your own with granulated sugar and cornstarch. Put one cup of granulated sugar and one tablespoon of cornstarch in the blender and mix on high until smooth. The blender will grind the sugar into a fine powder and the cornstarch (which is an ingredient in confectioners sugar) will keep the ground sugar smooth.

Remove Musty Odor

Old books are a delight to own, but the musty smell can be overwhelming. Remove the musty odor from old books by fanning the pages and sprinkling cornstarch as you fan. Let books sit 24 hours so the cornstarch can absorb the moisture and odor, then turn books upside down, outside or over the sink, and fan the pages to remove the powder.

Prevent Curdling

Sometimes we get a little a heavy handed with spices while whipping up a favorite chili or stew recipe. If a taste test reveals you’ve added too much heat to the recipe, tone down the taste-bud melting heat with sour cream. Adding a spoon of sour cream to a hot pot of chili or stew will curdle the cream , unless you mix 1 teaspoon of cornstarch into the sour cream first.

Separate Marshmallows

Next time you open a bag of marshmallows and they appear to have morphed into one giant marshmallow, sprinkle 1 teaspoon of cornstarch into the bag and shake. The cornstarch will absorb the moisture and cause the marshmallows to separate.

Prevent Heel Blisters

Got a pair of shoes that rub your heels (or toes) and leave you with blisters each time you try to wear them? Sprinkle a little cornstarch on the foot area where the shoes create friction to prevent blisters.

Shine-Free Complexion

Have problems with keeping the shine down in your oily T-zone area? Keep your face shine-free and makeup perfect all day by mixing cornstarch and loose face powder together and lightly brushing over oily T-zone area as a finishing touch to makeup. The cornstarch will absorb the oil and give you a shine-free complexion, re-apply as needed during the day.

Toddler Safe Paste

Making crafts with a toddler can be fun, but if paste or glue is involved they usually want to taste it. Make a toddler safe paste that holds as well as paste for craft project ,like collages, with cornstarch. Mix one tablespoon of cornstarch and three tablespoons of water to make a kid-friendly paste that passes the taste test.

Clean Mud from Carpet

The next time hubby tracks in mud on your carpet, sprinkle a generous amount of cornstarch on the wet mud and let it sit 30 minutes or so. The powder will absorb the moisture of the mud and leave behind dry dirt that can be easily vacuumed away.

Dog Deodorizer

When Fido is smelling bad but there is no time to give him a bath, use cornstarch as a quick and safe dog deodorizer. Take Fido outside and sprinkle a generous amount of cornstarch all over him. Rub the product into his fur, then give him a brisk brushing. The cornstarch will absorb moisture, oils and odors and the brisk brushing action create a minor static electric charge that attracts and lifts away dirt.

Save a Scorched Shirt

So you were daydreaming while ironing and scorched your hubby’s shirt. Grab the box of cornstarch and some water. Dampen the scorched area with water then cover it with cornstarch. As the water evaporates, the polymer chains in the cornstarch bonds with the loose carbon particle on the shirt’s scorched spot and lifts them away, preventing them from bonding with the shirt’s fabric. Leave cornstarch on shirt until all water has been absorbed, then brush it and the scorch away.

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